Saturday, December 15, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Friday, March 27 1908 -- Thirty-five amateur boxers crowded into the Los Angeles Athletic Club to show off their stuff in front of an appreciative crowd. The prize? A chance to fight for the amusement of the Great White Fleet if and when it arrives at L.A., and if and when the sailors therein are allowed liberty to see a boxing spectacle.

I gamely searched for every boxer's name in, but came up dry. Either none of these tyros ever went pro, or they used pseudonyms.

I'm still trying to figure out who got paired with that thirty-fifth boxer ...


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Friday, December 14, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Farmer Waybacker

Here's a very early series from one of my very favorite cartoonists, Walter R. Bradford. While not exactly a slick stylist, Brad had a screwball sense of humor that just wouldn't quit. 

In the comic strip above, Brad not only gives us a pretty good screwball gag, but also uses for a prop an invention that had hardly even been invented yet -- the electric fence. According to Wiki, though there had been some experiments with electric shock fencing in the late 1800s, it wasn't really until much later, the 1930s, that the electric fence was really perfected and became popular.

Farmer Waybacker ran in the Chicago Tribune (and in the few papers that took their features, like the Boston Post) from April 27 to May 25 1902.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Don Moore

Donald Gurnea “Don” Moore was born in Wheaton, Illinois, on October 2, 1918, according to Today’s Cartoon (1962). In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, he and his widow mother were residing with his maternal grandmother, Alice Gurnea, also a widow and head of the household, and June, his mother’s younger sister. The address was 124 Chase Street in Wheaton. His mother, Jesse, worked at a can factory. A family tree at said his father, “John J. Mohr”, died in 1919.

The 1930 census recorded him and his grandmother at the same address. The whereabouts of his mother is not known. The Courier-News, May 23, 2010, said he graduated from Wheaton High School in 1936.

In 1940, Moore’s grandmother and his Aunt June’s family, husband and four children, was part of the household at the same Wheaton address. The census said he had three years of high school. Today’s Cartoon said: “…When he started, in order to get his first cartoons printed in the Wheaton (Ill.) Daily Journal, he cut his own linoleum blocks. As a GI in the Army (before he was torpedoed) he sold cartoons to the Springfield (Mass.) Daily News, and the Boston Herald-Traveler….He admits of no formal art training….” Moore enlisted in the Army on April 30, 1941 according to a military record found at The Courier-News said he “…was one of the 12 survivors aboard the USS Cherokee returning from Iceland, when it was struck and sank by a German torpedo, from which he received the Purple Heart….” The Springfield Daily Republican (Massachusetts), July 10, 1943, reported on Moore a year after the sinking.

Blood Plasma Value Cited from Experience
Corp. Don Moore, cartoonist, addressed a meeting of the board of directors of the Springfield chapter, American Red Cross, yesterday, and demonstrated by a recital of his own case the infinite value of blood plasma in warfare.

Corp. Moore was aboard a transport torpedoed in the North Atlantic a year ago last May and after spending five hours in the water was picked up by another boat. Plasma was administered immediately. His injuries included a fractured skull, punctured lung and several broken bones. After five months in the hospital he returned to duty and is now in this city, where he is a plant guard instructor.

The army and navy have requested 4,000,000 pints of plasma from volunteers for this year. Speaking in behalf of this request Corp. Moore said:—

“The time and effort of those donating blood is well repaid by the lives of those saved in the army and navy. It’s hard to tell the amount of personal comfort men in the service feel when they know there is plasma on hand, as there always is.”

Today’s Cartoon said, after his discharge, Moore was an assistant to Wilson McCoy who was drawing The Phantom. “I did the background and lettering,” Moore said. The exact date of his time on the Phantom is not known. An August 1948 issue of Editor & Publisher noted the following: “New on Western Newspaper Union’s list are three features: Did’ja Hear? a gag panel illustrating news oddities: Looking at Religion, by Don Moore, depicting colorful religious facts, and Carl Starr’s Weather Vane, which pictures weather lore.”

“Since 1950 his editorial cartoons have appeared regularly…in the Waukegan (III.) News-Sun...”, according to Today’s Cartoon. The Courier-News said he married Carole Collingbourne on April 14, 1951. Moore operated his own syndicate which was listed in Editor & Publisher Syndicate Directory (1953) and The Working Press of the Nation (1954):

Midwest Syndicate
334 St. Charles Street, Elgin, Ill.
Don G. Moore…Business Manager and Editor

Editorial Cartoon…Don Moore
Religious Spotlight…Don Moore

In Today’s Cartoon, Moore said: “I call the Waukegan paper my home base…But actually I’m a free-lancer. I’ve done about 7,500 editorial cartoons for the News-Sun, all on a fee basis. Then, I also draw cartoons for others: The Kenosha (Wis.) Evening News, The Wisconsin Agriculturist, The Evanston (Ill.) Review, The Winnetka Talk and The National Humane Review have all used my stuff.” 

His mother passed away in 1963, according to the family tree.

The Quill (1973), a publication of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, noted the results of an election: “Don G. Moore, editorial cartoonist for WGN-TV, Chicago, has been elected president of the Northern Illinois Professional chapter, DeKalb….”

Moore passed away May 21, 2010, in Elgin, Illinois. The Courier-News reported his death. 


How did you differentiate THIS Don Moore from the Blue Book / Flash Gordon one?? I hope you're planning to look at the other one someday :) - Art Lortie
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Looking at Religion

Western Newspaper Union, the syndicate that supplied weekly papers with boilerplate pages of content, went big on panel cartoon series in the late 1940s. One of them was Looking at Religion, from cartoonist Don Moore. This is not the Moore who was writing King Features' Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, although I thought it might be until Alex Jay set me straight. His Ink-Slinger Profile tomorrow will tell you about this 'other' Don Moore. 

I also thought that it might be 'the' Don Moore because maybe he was only writing the feature --  I noticed that each panel had the code 'M - 8 - R - E' in the art -- I figured that must be a clue to a ghost artist. I came up with possible names like Metairie, May Terry, M.A. Tarry, etc. from this code, until I finally realized that this is simply Moore with the two 'o's stacked atop each other. Duh. 

Looking at Religion began sometime in 1948, probably around September. Moore ran the show until March 30 1950, after which someone named B.W. Ames took over. Ames' version of the feature wasn't nearly as appealing -- art was perfunctory and the factoids were less Believe-It-Or-Not, more Stifle-A-Yawn. The feature ended sometime in the last quarter of 1951.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Louis E. Donahoe

Louis Edward Donahoe was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in July 1880, according to the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Censuses. In the 1880 census he was recorded as Edward, the fourth child of Charles, a notary public, and Philomane. They lived in St. Louis at 3614 North 18 Street. Information about Donahoe’s education and art training has not been found.

The St. Louis Republic, April 14, 1896, reported the death of his father, who was a lawyer and lived at 1314 North 20th Street. On April 21, the Republic said the police held a suspect for homicide in the death of his father. The Kansas City Daily Journal (Missouri), October 23, 1896, noted that a pension had been granted to his mother.

Donahoe was listed in Gould’s St. Louis Directory 1899 as an artist residing at 1100 Madison.

In the 1900 census, he lived with his mother, and two sisters in St. Louis at 1519 Hogan Street. His occupation was artist. He produced Caseyville for the St. Louis Star in March 1901. The Republic, October 5, 1902, reported the upcoming exhibition of newspaper drawings.

Oils, Water Colors, Sketches and Cartoons Will Be Shown.
…The Newspaper Artists' Society was organized with the primary object of the general betterment of the art of newspaper illustration, for an increased fraternal and feeling of good fellowship among the cartoonists, and with the hope of ultimately effecting a permanent institution. To this end this first exhibition will be given. The following artists form the Committee of Arrangements:

H.B. Martin, Dick Wood, George McManus, Ed Eksergian, S. Carlisle Martin, Berthold Widmann, Paul Fred Berdanier, Edward Grinham, J. Gay Martin, Miss Lina Barclay, Henry Thode, George Walters, Louis E. Donahoe, A. Briscoe, A. Block, George Stick, Miss Anita Moore, F.F. Porter, Max Orthwein, treasurer.

His listing in Gould’s St. Louis Directory 1903 was St. Louis Star artist residing at 1519 Hogan Street. Donahoe passed away May 14, 1909, in St. Louis. His death was reported in Fair Play (Sainte Genevieve, Missouri), May 22, 1909, on page 3, column 3:

Louis E. Donahoe, aged 28 years and 10 months, died in St. Louis on Friday, May 14. He was a son of Philomena and the late Chas. E. Donahoe, and brother of Mrs. Louise Klie and Elmer, Hattie and Flora Donahoe.


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Monday, December 10, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Caseyville

I suppose that the short-lived series Caseyville, which ran in the St. Louis Star Sunday comics section from March 17 to April 14 1901, could be considered a valuable social history document. Frankly, though, between the amateur art, lack of imagination, absence of humor, and spiteful racism, I think this series may be better off forgotten.

As you probably know, the poisonous anti-Irish sentiment in the United States during the late Victorian period was not only socially acceptable, but more than occasionally engaged in by the Irish themselves. George McManus, for instance, was always happy to slam his own people, often going well beyond good-natured pokings and proddings into the realm of the most hateful slurs. Once you became a member of the 'lace curtain Irish', your less well-to-do brothers were evidently fair game.

This Donahoe fellow, presumably a son of Erin Eire himself, seems to have nothing but contempt for the 'shanty Irish', and just for good measure, throws in a shockingly aggressive racial slur against African-Americans too. It's no shame at all, then, that Caseyville is his only known series, and I know nothing at all about him.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

Tomorrow: Alex Jay's genealogical digging reveals the identity of Donahoe!


You mean he was a "son of Erin", not Eire, the gaelic name of the Irish Free State, created in 1921.

Are you going to hazard a guess this might be World Color Printing, The Star's own syndicate, or should I just 'shup'?
I dinna noo tha' there was a substantive difference between Erin and Eire. But then, take note of my surname and understand it's not exactly native knowledge where my folk come from.

As to the likely/possible Star/WCP entanglement, I guess I'm willing to stay off the battlefield about that one for he moment, until I have some new artillery to bring to bear, one way or the other.

Danke schön, Allan

Would any of the other three strips in Caseyville's run communicate anything to the modern reader? These two are basically meaningless to me.
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Sunday, December 09, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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